What are The 5 Stages

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in.

Access Resources

There are many variations of passages of Lorem Ipsum available, but the majority have suffered alteration in.

Latest Blog

Changing attitudes about differences

Tags : 

The email was to the point. “The student services department at Crown Point Christian is putting on a chapel on March 21. The theme is friendship and accepting those who are different.” They wanted a speaker to help them spread the message. However, I would only have 10 minutes, and I knew a thorough presentation of

Read More
las5etapasFTR

Las Cinco Etapas en Nicaragua

Tags : 

Churches have many objections to doing disability ministry, including: We don’t have enough volunteers. We don’t have the money. We don’t have people with disabilities here. Wouldn’t they be happier in their own churches? And that’s just to name a few. You can find some other great “myths about disability ministry” in this post by

Read More
heidelbergFTR

What the Heidelberg Catechism is Missing

Tags : 

In 1563, two young men were charged with creating a question and answer synopsis of the Christian faith and its practice. The resulting Heidelberg Catechism has been used as a reliable companion to the Scriptures for over 450 years. The catechism aims to draw the believer’s attention to the crucial elements and questions of the

Read More
Church_Hospital

An Opportunity Missed by Too Many Churches

Tags : 

Life with a Disability is Difficult and Lonely Life always includes tragedy. And tragedy can be a time of loneliness and deep despair. But when you are part of a church, that tragedy can become an opportunity. Tragedy and difficulty, whether temporary or long-term, is an opportunity for the church to truly be the church.

Read More
shelteredworkshops_FTR

Sheltered Workshops: Relic of the Past or Overlooked Option?

Tags : 

The 5 Stages is a resource developed by Elim Christian Services. Elim is a Christ-centered learning and sharing community dedicated to revealing the purpose and value of each person as a child of God. Elim has been in ministry for almost 70 years. Among its services for persons living with disabilities is a comprehensive day

Read More
BeyondtheLeast

Beyond Serving “The Least of These”

Tags : 

Matthew 25:31-46 may be one of the most controversial passages in all of scripture. Jesus says to his disciples, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory…he will separate the people one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-33 NIV). To the sheep Jesus gives the kingdom inheritance

Read More
GLUE-Manual-and-DVD

Use a Little G.L.U.E. to Help Your Church

Tags : 

I just don’t know HOW. This is the statement that I often hear when I speak with church leaders about including people who have disabilities. How do we move from pity to care, or from care to friendship? How do we move through the five stages of being ignorant of those with disabilities to becoming

Read More
Liesofthisworldftr

Lies the World Tells People with Disabilities

Tags : 

I am Disabled I have a disability. It’s a slight speech impediment as a result of damage to some nerve centers at the base of my brain. Only one vocal chord works, my tongue barely moves, and I have to work hard to manipulate my lips and teeth to form words. It has always been

Read More
ignorance

7 Signs That You (Or Your Church) Are Ignorant

Tags : 

As The 5 Stages has been presented and used by more and more churches and individuals, one of the most common questions we receive is: What does it look like when a church is at Stage 1 or 3? What’s the difference? I thought it might be helpful to offer some characteristics that you can

Read More
Ephesians210

There is no Asterisk

Tags : 

The concepts discussed in this blog and on this website are not new, but are sometimes received as though they are revolutionary. Yet there is nothing truly unique about these thoughts. And I’m not just talking about the fact that similar attitudinal structures have been developed by people like Jean Vanier and Bill Gaventa, though

Read More
Ultrasound2

Did God Make Me This Way? (Part 2)

Tags : 

Two weeks ago, I posted a personal perspective on God’s purpose in disability. In it, I postulated that it is not a question of whether or not God made me this way (as a disabled person), but that He has a redemptive purpose in each life. I want to follow that up by sharing what

Read More
2014_0826_WhitePaperPost

White Paper: Building a Special Needs Ministry

Tags : 

In 2012, Elim Christian Services lost a great member of its team when Vinnie Adams agreed to take on a new challenge. Our good friends at Faith Church, a large, multi-site church (and member of the Reformed Church of America denomination) in Dyer, Indiana, and longtime friends and supporters of the mission and vision of Elim,

Read More
ultrasound-image

Did God Make Me This Way? (Part I)

Tags : 

I was born with a disability. I have never liked the disability, but it is part of my every day life. It seems like it’s a part of me, and that I wouldn’t be the same person if I didn’t have a speech impediment. The mother of a child with Down syndrome or autism probably

Read More
SCCSAnnReport2014

Local School Seeks Stage 5

Tags : 

We came across this entry from the annual report of Southwest Chicago Christian Schools, a sister school to Elim that serves students from Preschool through 12th grade. The following excerpt from their annual report was provided by their Oak Lawn campus (PreK-8). Being Co-Laborers in God’s Kingdom In February, the students participated in a service

Read More
2013_OutreachTeam_03

Imagine Something Beautiful

Tags : 

Although we were almost all committed to serving in different countries, each one of us shared a common a common call…to love and serve in community with those who have special needs! Disability ministry leaders from India, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua, Rwanda and the United States recently met up at Elim Christian Services’ Annual Outreach Summit to

Read More
El_Salvador

The 5 Stages Goes to El Salvador

Tags : 

The following is an account of how Rev. Gerry and Laura Koning utilized The 5 Stages to support conversations and assist fellow believers in El Salvador in changing attitudes about disabilities. Rev. and Mrs. Koning visited El Salvador in June, and used the Spanish translation of The 5 Stages as developed by Paul Blas, Church

Read More
PlayingwitBubbles

Saying “Congratulations” Matters

Tags : 

The past two years have given me one experience after another to share with others The 5 Stages. It’s been an honor to be invited to speak in front of groups of all sizes to show them how important changing attitudes really is. Throughout these experiences I am certain I have learned more about disability

Read More
5Stages_feature_01

The 5 Stages – Why It Exists

Tags : 

“Oh. Yeah,” the elderly gentleman said. “I know all about Elim. It’s great what you do for those kids.” I could only manage a half-hearted “thank you” as a response, which was directed mostly at his back as he walked away from my booth. at a ministry fair. Now, I know Elim would not exist

Read More

On God and Disability

Tags : 

Dan Vander Plaats was interviewed by the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship. The interview was conducted in preparation for a presentation (by Dan Quist and Dan VP) at their annual Symposium on January 31, 2014. Farmers and gardeners notice how often the Bible talks about taking care of the land. What Bible stories or promises

Read More

Not as Much of a Blessing as You Might Think…

Tags : 

Living with disabilities is not as much of a blessing as you might think. A few years ago I was at an event at the local Christian college, and afterwards I was speaking with the wife of the college president.  They had a child who was a student in Elim’s school program. There were several

Read More

Praying for Healing for the Wrong Person

Tags : 

Brad has served at Elim for almost three decades, and like many of us, he never expected to be here for very long. Something about Elim, though, draws you in. Also, like a lot of us, Brad started out wishing for a better life for those we serve. After all, life with disabilities seems a

Read More
gwenda-jean

From Brokenness to Community

Tags : 

Today, we share a brief quote from the book From Brokenness to Community, by Jean Vanier: And I come here to tell you how much life these people have given me, that they have an incredible gift to bring to our world, that they are a source of hope, peace and perhaps salvation for our

Read More
imagodei

Our Value Comes Not from Accomplishment, or from Need, but from God

Tags : 

Our value as human beings is determined by an external source. It is not we who define our value, or the value of others. Our value is only determined by our Creator, by a God who has fashioned us in His image. And yet, that is an incredibly difficult thing to say. That’s why I

Read More

Disability is Not a Blessing, But it Also is Not a Curse

Tags : 

I cringed when I heard him say it. “I think of my child’s disability as a blessing. He is truly a blessing from God.” How can you argue with that? Of course, children are a blessing from God. Every Christian ever has agreed with that sentiment, except for those occasions when we’re just not that

Read More

Struggling to Stand Up for Others

Tags : 

I don’t always remember to stand up for others, even though I myself have a disability. I was standing in line at the local hardware store. The mom in front of me had her pre-teen boy in tow, and it seemed pretty obvious to me that he was somewhere on the autism spectrum. He was

Read More

Fix My Funny Talking

Tags : 

I wrote up something recently to answer a pretty basic question: What if someone offered to fix my speech impediment? How would I respond? If you read Zach’s entry from his blog (below) you’ll get a great perspective on this. But, in my nitpicky way, I still don’t fully agree with his position, but I

Read More
hjohnson

On the Passing of Harriett McBryde Johnson

Tags : 

There are so many things we can learn from Harriett McBryde Johnson, who died earlier this month at the age of 50 from a congenital neuro-muscular disease. Surely, she was a champion for the rights of those with disabilities, but she was much more than that. Here is a sampling of the truths we can

Read More

Have you shared or used The 5 Stages? Tell us about it!